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Yordenis Ugas Tops Omar Figueroa by Unanimous Decision; Sergey Lipinets Stops Jayar Inson in Two Rounds & Luis Nery Knocks Out Juan Carlos Payano in Ninth Round in Pay-Per-View Undercard


Efe Ajagba Defeats Ali Eren Demirezen by Unanimous Decision in Clash of Unbeaten Heavyweights on FOX

LAS VEGAS (July 21, 2019) – Boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao dropped Keith “One Time” Thurman in round one and won a close split decision to earn a welterweight world title in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“It was fun,” said Pacquiao. “My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong. I’m not that kind of boxer who talks a lot; we were just promoting the fight. I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”

The sell-out crowd of 14,356 got treated to great action from the start, as an exciting first round was capped off by Pacquiao dropping Thurman for the first time in his career with a straight right hand late in the round.

“I knew it was too close,” said Thurman. “He got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one.”

Thurman made it into the second round but continued to have trouble with Pacquiao’s right hand, as the future Hall of Famer threw it successfully as a jab and a power punch throughout the fight. Thurman adjusted in the middle rounds and began to try to smother Pacquiao and walk him down, having success when he was able to get his combinations off before his opponent.

Despite blood pouring from his nose from round four on, Thurman was able to land powerful combinations on Pacquiao for much of the second half of the fight, but was never able to hurt Pacquiao or score a knockdown of his own.

“I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe,” said Thurman. “I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s. I would love the rematch.”

In round 10, Pacquiao’s landed a strong left hook to the body that clearly hurt Thurman and forced him to spend much of the remainder of the round backpedaling. The CompuBox scores were indicative of the close nature of the fight, with Thurman out landing Pacquiao 210 to 195, while Pacquiao was busier throwing 686 punches to 571 from Thurman.

“I really love the fans,” said Pacquiao. “Thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight. I’m sure they were happy tonight because they saw a good fight. Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer and he’s strong. I was just blessed tonight.”

Watch the round 10 highlight HERE

Pacquiao had a large advantage in jabs landed, connecting on 82 to Thurman’s 18. The 192 power punches landed by Thurman was the most in 43 Pacquiao fights that CompuBox has tracked. Round-by-round, the two fighters were only separated by more than five landed punches in rounds two, seven and nine.

After 12 rounds, the judges reached a split decision, with one judge scoring the fight 114-113 for Thurman, overruled by two judges scoring it 115-112 for Pacquiao, who captured the WBA Welterweight World Championship at 40-years-old.

“You get blessings and lessons,” said Thurman. “Tonight was a blessing and a lesson. Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao.”

“I think (I will fight) next year,” said Pacquiao. “I will go back to the Philippines and work and then make a decision. I do hope to be at the (Errol) Spence vs. (Shawn) Porter fight on September 28.”

The co-main event of the pay-per-view saw top contender Yordenis Ugas (24-4, 11 KOs) drop previously unbeaten Omar Figueroa (28-1-1, 19 KOs) on his way to a unanimous decision in their WBC welterweight title eliminator.

Ugas got off to a strong start, connecting on a straight right hand that sent Figueroa into the ropes, which he held onto so he didn’t hit the canvas, but enough that referee Russell Mora ruled it a knockdown.

“The fight played out how I thought it would,” said Ugas. “I came out strong and Figueroa was tough as well. This was similar to the fight everyone expected. I came out on top.”

Watch the highlight of the knockdown HERE

Figueroa recovered and was able to make it to round two, where he continued his strategy of coming forward to try to hurt Ugas on the inside. Ugas was able to control that action on the inside, landing numerous uppercuts to stun Figueroa. However, the inside fighting led to Ugas being deducted a point by the referee in round five for holding.

“Ugas fought a smart fight,” said Figueroa. “He was smothering me on the inside and holding. I thought the scores were too wide. I was following him and working the whole time. I felt like he only worked the last 30 seconds of the round, but I guess that was all it took.

“I didn’t have any problems with his size. I thought I was able to do my thing, but when he was holding me I couldn’t get my offense going.”

Despite that, and being warned later in the fight for delivering low blows, Ugas dominated the fight according to CompuBox, out landing Figueroa 229 to 131 and connecting with 28% of his punches, to Figueroa’s 22%.

“I knew Figueroa was a tough guy, so I didn’t want to waste my energy trying to take him out early,” said Ugas. “I was ready to go 12 rounds.”

After 12 rounds, all three judges scored the fight the same, 119-107 in favor of Ugas, who became the mandatory for the winner of the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter welterweight title unification.

“I’m extremely happy to be in this position to fight for the WBC title again,” said Ugas. “I will be ready for the winner of Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter.”

Additional action saw former world champion Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12 KOs) score a highlight-reel knockout against Jayar Inson (18-3, 12 KOs) in the second round of their welterweight matchup.

Lipinets was originally scheduled to fight John Molina Jr., before Molina pulled out of the fight Friday morning due to a back injury. Inson, who was scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard, stepped up to the challenge.

“When I first heard the news about Molina, I knew that I wanted to still fight on a show of this magnitude,” said Lipinets. “As far as fighting a southpaw, I’ve had so many amateur fights in my kickboxing career that I had no problem adjusting. It was just a matter of time. I also have sparred with great southpaws like Victor Ortiz throughout my career, so I was comfortable with the change in fighter.”

In an exchange early in the second round, Lipinets landed a clean left hook to Inson’s head, which sent the Filipino-fighter to the canvas. Although Inson got to his feet, referee Jay Nady waved off the bout 57 seconds into the round.

“I got hit and I slipped, that made it look worse,” said Inson. “When I stood up I thought I was fine and tried to raise my hands and show the referee.”

“Joe Goossen is an exceptional trainer and he just told me to work from a different direction facing a southpaw,” said Lipinets. “I just made sure to block his punches with my elbows. That was the only adjustment I had to make and it ended up working just fine.”

Watch the Lipinets KO highlight HERE

The opening pay-per-view bout saw undefeated former champion Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) deliver a ninth-round knockout of former bantamweight champion Juan Carlos Payano (21-3, 9 KOs).

“I wasn’t really paying attention to how long the fight was going, I was just getting into a rhythm as it went on,” said Nery. “I had to work hard to get to him because he’s a good boxer. The longer it went, the better I felt. I put my punches together well once I got going.”

In a fast-paced duel of former champions, Payano had success early boxing the aggressive Nery, moving back to avoid his attack and landing his own offense against the knockout artist. Payano out landed or was even in punches landed for each of the first six rounds of the bout.

“I’m a warrior and I wanted to keep going and fight back every time he came forward,” said Payano. “My coach wanted me to stay behind my jab a little more.”

As the fight grew into the middle rounds, Nery began to increase the offense and was able to land power shots that slowed Payano’s ability to box from the outside. Nery hurt Payano early in round seven, eventually dominating the round, out landing his opponent 22 to 7.

“He was a very complicated fighter at the beginning, he’s a veteran, so I had to try to adapt to his style to see how I could get in,” said Nery. “In the fifth or sixth round I started gaining control of the fight and then that left hook came to the body which was devastating.”

“During the exchanges it was Nery’s second shot that was getting in,” said Payano. “We corrected the issue but then that body shot came in from nowhere and hit me in a rib that I had broken years ago against Raushee Warren.”

Round eight saw Nery continue to break Payano down, most notably landing a big left hand midway through the round that caused blood to pour from Payano’s nose. During an exchange in the ninth-round, Payano landed a devastating left hook to the ribs that put Payano down. He was unable to recover and referee Vic Drakulich halted the bout 1:43 into the round.

“I wanted to get him out early,” said Nery. “But this showed that I do have the experience to go into the later rounds and still take out my opponent. I showed that I have good defense and can make adjustments.”

Watch Nery’s knockout HERE

The FOX PBC Fight Night main event on FOX and FOX Deportes saw IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) retain his title with a dominant third-round knockout over previously unbeaten Mike Lee (21-1, 11 KOs).

“It went exactly how I planned it would go,” said Plant. “Absolutely. I’ve been telling you all week it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds and I stuck to my word and I tried to do that. I hope you guys had a good time.”

Plant got off to a fast-start, dropping Lee with a left hook late in the first round. The unbeaten challenger was able to recover and survive the round, but was hard-pressed to make up for the hand speed advantage of Plant.

You can watch Plant’s first knockdown HERE

“I think I have a high boxing IQ and I do this at a really high level,” said Plant. “So it was just about making adjustments. He’s a big, strong guy and he just came in here to give it his all.”

Lee looked to charge in hard against Plant and use his size and power to land a big shot and change the momentum of the fight. Plant was sharp and avoided the looping right hands that Lee was attacking with.

“The speed was the difference, he’s fast and very accurate,” said Lee. “I had some success with my right hands but wasn’t able to be consistent with it.”

In round three, Plant landed a vicious right hook early in the round that put Lee down for the second time. After a left hook appeared to connect and send Lee down a second time, referee Robert Byrd ruled it had come from a push and continued the fight once Lee got to his feet.

Plant had his opponent hurt and continued to press forward, eventually landing another left hook that put Lee down, this time forcing the referee to wave off the bout 1:29 into the round.

Watch the highlight of Plant’s TKO HERE

“I had no issue with the stoppage, that’s the referee’s job and I respect it,” said Lee.

After the fight, Benavidez was asked about a possible unification fight against the winner of the just announced Anthony Dirrell vs. David Benavidez WBC Super Middleweight Championship fight.

“Oh yeah, we can definitely unify,” said Plant. “I ain’t hard to get a hold of. I ain’t hard to make a fight with. Come see me. You know my advisor.”

The opening bout on FOX and FOX Deportes saw Efe Ajagba (11-0, 9 KOs) score a unanimous decision over Ali Eren Demirezen (11-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round battle of undefeated heavyweights. It was the first time that two unbeaten fighters from the 2016 Olympics faced off as pros.

You can find full fight highlights HERE

Ajagba used his jab and height effectively throughout the fight, landing 10 of 45 jabs per round, doubling the heavyweight average. However, an elbow injury and the accurate punching of Demirezen forced Ajagba to go the distance for the first time as a pro.

“This was the first fighter to take me the distance,” said Ajagba. “He was strong and could take my punches. My trainer just told me to keep using my jab and stay in the middle of the ring.

“I hurt my elbow early on, so I couldn’t shoot my right hand like I wanted. But I won’t use that as an excuse. As a tall man I had to use the jab and if it went the distance, that was my best way to win.”

Demirezen thought the scorecards should have been closer and believed that his performance should have garnered him more than the decision loss. Demirezen was actually the more accurate puncher, landing 26% of his punches to 22% from Ajagba.

“I don’t agree with the scores, especially 99-91” said Demirezen. “It was much closer. I feel that at minimum, it was a draw. I knew I had to knock him out and that a knockout might be easier than winning by points. I thought it was a good performance but I can do better. I’d like to fight in the U.S. again.”

Ajagba’s activity from start to finish was impressive, as he threw 877 total punches, landing 191. While Demirezen was not far behind with 149 punches landed, he only out landed Ajagba in three rounds.

After 10 rounds of action all three judges scored the fight in favor of Ajagba, by scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93.

PAC-Thurman, An Uncommon Opinion

When it was announced that future Hall Of Famer Manny Pacquiao’s ( 61-7-2 39 KO), next opponent would be Keith Thurman (29-0 22 KO ), I was a bit puzzled by the matchup. It seems my observation is not one shared by the masses.

I get it, Manny’s a treasure in boxing circles. I’m among those who believes we are watching a living legend every time he enters the ring. That said, something is amiss with this matchup..

Understood that even at 40 years of age, The Pride of The Philippines is not an easy assignment. That said, has the twilight of his career been predicated on a lesson in matchmaking?

Is this the fight that he gets old? These past two years, his opponents haven’t been exactly high level.

Adrien Broner, a wasted talent who never performed against A Side talent, Lucas Matthysse, a shot fighter at the time of their matchup, Jeff Horn not highly regarded before or now.

Conversely, Thurman has fought high quality during the same time frame, Danby Garcia and Shawn Porter.

I purposely didn’t list Thurman’s last opponent, Josesito Lopez, because although a tough out, not top tier. I’d would argue; however, that Lopez would best Broner, Horn, or Matthysse if fighting then at the same point.

You know what you get with Manny. The hand speed, footwork, angles, and like the video game’s Pac Man…a relentless attack. But like the screen full of dots and fruit, the hero can’t always stop the attack and succumbs to a counter attack.

For all the great skill sets that Manny possesses, the one area that can be exploited is his inconsistent defense. Willing most times to take one to land his lighting quick barrage, the openings are there. The problem is that most of his opponents are so worried about the banshee like barrage they think first of covering up before making him pay. By then, it’s too late. Pac Man scores points are and he’s gone, or even worse, you’re gone.

Thurman’s story has been well chronicled. A gym rat, with a hindu spirit. He’s both power and finesse. The beauty of his game is molded by being in the gym at an early age with one of the most underrated pugilists of all time, Ronald Wright.

Against Pacquiao, Thurman will have to channel his inner Winky to negate the angles and speed, while scoring points, all the while keeping his minds eye keenly aware of the one shot to turn the fight, the power observed earning him the moniker..”One Time”

The thought here is Manny will start strong and attack Thurman. That said Thurman will adjust and counter Manny, using his aggressiveness against him. I see Manny being hurt in this fight, and depending on the shot he’s hit with, either being stopped or fighting, uncharacteristically, cautious the rest of the fight, earning Thurman the win. Look out for a Thurman uppercut.

Did he look good in his last fight? No; however, good enough considering his injury recovery. One full training camp back now youth looks to be served.

When one remembers this fight, it may be looked back upon as the one that set the end to a historic career.


Photo Credit-Stephaine Trapp- TGB Promotion

Current & Past Champions & Top Contenders, Plus Renowned Trainers Make Predictions for Blockbuster Welterweight Championship Showdown

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Current & Past Champions & Top Contenders, Plus Renowned Trainers Make Predictions for Blockbuster Welterweight Championship Showdown Between Eight-Division Champion Manny Pacquiao & Unbeaten WBA Champion Keith Thurman

Boxing World Split Nearly 50-50 as 24 Favor Pacquiao While 19 Pick Thurman For Victory

PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Event This Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Click HERE for Video Predictions from “Inside PBC Boxing”

LAS VEGAS (July 15, 2019) – The predictions are in from around the boxing world and the expert group that was polled is nearly split 50-50, but overall gives eight-division champion Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao a slight edge over WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman ahead of their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The tally was 24-to-19 for Pacquiao over Thurman, with three picking a draw. Pacquiao even has a chance to stop Thurman based on the picks of at least three former champions who participated in the poll, while two picked Thurman to end the night early. In addition, eight respondents believe the fight is so evenly-matched that it will end in a split-decision.

Here are the predictions from a mix of boxing legends, current and former champions and contenders, plus some of the most renowned trainers in the sport:

Thomas Hearns, former five-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao has the better skills and the experience overall in comparison to Keith Thurman, and I see Manny winning a decision by just out-boxing him.

Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. I like both fighters and what they’ve been able to achieve. Manny Pacquiao’s a legend who still is among the world’s best fighters despite his age and having to overcome so many ups and downs. But I’m going with Keith Thurman on a split-decision in this one based on his youth and mentality. People are talking about Keith’s last fight against Josesito Lopez, but he feels like he’s the best, and that he’s not going to let anyone take that away from him.

Roy Jones Jr., Former Three-Division World Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W12: I’m going to go with Pacquiao because he’s the older and therefore more experienced fighter.

Errol Spence Jr., IBF Welterweight Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. It just depends on which Pacquiao shows up and which Keith shows up. I think Keith will be a lot sharper than he was in his last fight. You know he had a long layoff and is just coming back. Keith is a lot tougher than people think he is. He took a lot of punches in that last fight. He took a lot of punches in the Shawn Porter fight, too. He might be a boxer, but he’s tough and he’s gritty, so I think he’s going to win a split-decision or he’s going to blow him out. It just depends on which Pacquiao comes out. If he can turn the tables a little bit and become the Pacquiao of back then, I think he can win. But if it’s the Pacquiao that fought Broner, then I think Keith will edge him out and outpoint him. Keith can get on his bicycle and move around and just pot shot him. I think Keith will edge it out.

Sugar Ray Leonard, former five-division world champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman has a ton of talent, power and speed. I like him to win.

Gerry Cooney, former heavyweight title contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao’s been a phenom, but age has been creeping up on him. Thurman’s gonna try to box and use his power, and Manny’s been knocked out before. It’s a 50-50 fight, but I’m going with Pacquiao, who is really awkward and fast, to win a decision.

Shane Mosley, former three-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think that Pacquiao is going to win because of the experience, the speed and his power.

Shawn Porter, WBC Welterweight Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Manny Pacquiao, who still has the hunger, several levels of competitive spirit and quickness out of that southpaw stance that’s hard to game plan for. Keith Thurman’s young but coming off of a very long layoff and a level of relaxation and comfort that makes it difficult for me to see him being ready for this fight. I don’t think Keith’s body will be able to withstand what’s going to come during those championship rounds. Pacquiao weathers the early storm and wins a decision.

Andy Ruiz Jr., Unified Heavyweight World Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Pacquiao because of his speed and aggressiveness.

Mikey Garcia, four-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Ultimately Manny’s footwork, hand-speed, combinations and volume punching will carry him throughout the rounds. Keith Thurman has the power to win it, and he’s very dangerous for that power, but he’s not a better fighter, overall, than Manny. I think Manny takes it.

Julian Williams, WBA & IBF 154-pound World Champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. Manny’s always super-competitive and I believe we’ll see a hungrier and more determined Manny Pacquiao than the one who beat Adrien Broner. Manny may even be able to hurt Keith Thurman as he does everybody, but I believe Keith Thurman will have too much youth for him. Keith may not look great, but I’m going with Keith to win a close decision.

Derrick James, trainer of welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Jermell Charlo

Pick: Thurman W 12. I think Keith Thurman’s gonna beat Manny Pacquiao by a decision as long as he can do what he did for the first seven rounds against Josesito Lopez for 12 rounds against Pacquiao. Keith’s consistency will win the fight.

Leo Santa Cruz, WBA Featherweight World Champion

Pick: Thurman W 12: I feel that Keith Thurman is going to win because he’s younger.

Roberto Duran, former four-division world champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12: Manny Pacquiao is very tough and for me, he is going to win this fight.

Robert Garcia, trainer of former four-division champion Mikey Garcia, contender Josesito Lopez

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman is strong, solid and smart in the ring, and he has youth on his side, so I see him winning a unanimous decision. I would no doubt pick Manny Pacquiao if this was four or five years ago the way he was dominating, but with him being at the age of 40, that’s hard for me to do.

Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division champion

Pick: Thurman TKO 11. I saw Pacquiao in January beating Adrien Broner who was willing to enter the pocket but not let his hands go. Pacquiao is not a defensive genius, and I’m not saying that he’s super hittable. But I do see Keith catching up to him and winning by a late-round TKO.

Tony Harrison, WBC Super Welterweight Champion

Pick: Draw. I have so much love and respect for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman and I’ve seen fire in each of their eyes. I am envisioning an action-packed, seesaw battle that enhances the legacies of both fighters with the fans getting their money’s worth. Manny’s been re-awakened into the beast he’s been in the past, and when the final bell rings, I believe this fight will end in a draw.

Jarrett Hurd, former unified 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. I believe the youth of Keith Thurman will play a big factor. Yes, Thurman had a long layoff but I think he broke the ring rust after the Josesito Lopez fight.

Josesito Lopez, Former title challenger

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. In our fight, Keith Thurman took a really hard punch from me that would have taken out almost anyone. That proves a lot about his championship ability to come back to win a fight. Thurman has great power and boxing skills and movement, but I still see Pacquiao pulling out a close decision victory.

Gary Russell Jr., WBC Featherweight Champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman is probably the bigger, stronger fighter, which will give him the puncher’s chance, but I think Manny Pacquiao’s work ethic and his punch output will dictate the fight. I really like Keith Thurman, but I don’t know which Keith will show up. He has the ability to get Pacquiao outta there, but I see Pacquiao being more consistent. So, I think Manny’s gonna outwork him and take it.

Ronnie Shields, trainer of 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo, former 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith is fast on his feet and has enough boxing ability to keep Manny at bay. I don’t believe a KO will occur. I really believe they both will try for one, but in order for Manny to win, he has to hurt Keith early and often. I don’t see it any other way.

Jessie Vargas, former two-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Manny Pacquiao because of his experience and explosiveness and the fact that I believe that’s something Keith Thurman’s never seen before. A knockout for Pacquiao is 85% possible. Each is a great fighter who doesn’t back down.

Stephen Edwards, trainer of unified 154-pound champion Julian Williams

Pick: Draw. I can’t call this fight. I was picking Keith Thurman due to youth and not being the better fighter. I thought he would control Manny Pacquiao with a check hook. But Thurman has not looked right to me in the training footage. Maybe that’s a ploy. Who knows? One fighter is 40 and the other looks rusty. I expect a close and controversial draw.

Sergio Mora, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman KO 9. Manny Pacquiao’s speed and footwork has diminished with age but he is still dangerous. Both will be aiming for the body and both will have their moments. Ultimately, I see Pac getting over aggressive and caught attempting to be great once again. Size and youth prevails in an exciting and competitive fight.

Andre Berto, former two-time 147-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. I’m picking Keith Thurman to win a decision because he is younger, faster and stronger than Manny Pacquiao.

Omar Figueroa, former world champion

Pick: Pacquiao by KO 8. Keith Thurman is a really smart fighter, but he leaves himself open with some of his punches. I think Manny Pacquiao catches him with those short lefts and right hooks inside and possibly stops the fight in eight.

Robert Guerrero, former two-division champion

Pick: Pacquiao by late round KO. Manny’s experience, combined with this speed and power, hitting off angles, is going to be too much for Keith Thurman.

Jay Deas, trainer of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder

Pick: Thurman W 12. Can Manny Pacquiao spell bound Keith Thurman, building a lead and holding off a late-round Thurman rally to take a decision? I don’t think so with only one knockout since 2010. Thurman’s left hand will be a key if he can jab the southpaw Pacquiao effectively. If Thurman is intelligently aggressive, uses his left and starts and finishes the exchanges, I believe he will win a decision in an exciting fight.

Joel Diaz, renowned trainer

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman didn’t look good against Josesito Lopez, who is a warrior but not on the level of a Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s a lefty with great speed and footwork to create problems for Thurman. Thurman’s bigger, younger and stronger, but Pacquiao has the power to hurt Thurman with either hand. I see Pacquiao increasing the pace over the later rounds and winning a decision.

Abner Mares, former three-division champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. Everyone is going off Manny Pacquiao’s last performance, where he looked phenomenal against an Adrien Broner who didn’t throw a lot of punches and was on the ropes a lot. Pacquiao’s not fighting Broner but a Thurman who knows how to work every round. He got hurt against Josesito Lopez, but that was after a long layoff.

Erislandy Lara, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. This is a true 50-50 fight and a great one for the boxing fans. Going off their last few performances, I’m leaning towards Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao to win a decision. But I wouldn’t be shocked to see Keith Thurman return to form.

Sergey Lipinets, former 140-pound champion

Pick: Draw. The fight looks like a 50-50 proposition. Manny Pacquiao is a way more diverse fighter then Keith Thurman. The big question would still be if Pacquiao has got any of that left or enough to maintain that through 12 rounds. I think we’ll see them fight to a draw.

Gary Russell Sr., father and trainer of 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr.

Pick: Thurman W 12. Manny Pacquiao has a herky-jerky style that can cause problems for Keith Thurman, who I don’t think can out-box Pacquiao. Keith’s gonna have to be the more physical fighter, coming out as the stalker and going to the body. I think that ultimately that’s what he’s gonna do to win a decision.

David Benavidez, former 168-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao by KO 9. I feel like Manny is going to have a hard time with Keith Thurman running around in the first few rounds. Then I expect “PacMan” to start hurting Thurman by Round five or six and then I see him stopping “One Time” around the ninth. It’s gonna be a great fight though.

Marcus Browne, interim WBA 175-pound champion

Pick: Thurman W 12. This is a great fight that’s tough to call, so to pick a draw wouldn’t be far-fetched. I’m a big Manny Pacquiao fan and he looked great in his last fight beating Adrien Broner. But Keith ain’t Adrien Broner, and I think he’ll overcome the ring absence since he appears to be in a zone. I’m going to choose Keith to win a close decision.

Ruben Guerrero, father and trainer of former two-division champion Robert Guerrero

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. It’s going to be one hell of a fight, but Manny Pacquiao will win the later rounds to win a close one.

Luis Ortiz, heavyweight title contender

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao will win via decision. He has too much experience and has been active. Keith Thurman has been too inactive. I think it will probably be a split decision for Pacquiao.

Erickson Lubin, 154-pound title contender

Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao’s southpaw style will confuse Keith Thurman. “Pacman” wins by split-decision with his power, speed and combination punching.

Austin Trout, former 154-pound champion

Pick: Thurman SD 12. I’m going to rock with my man Keith Thurman. People who are judging off his last fight don’t understand how much inactivity can play a role. Now that the rust is off, I expect Keith to pull it off. Keith is going to go above and beyond in what will be a 12-round fight that he’s gonna win by a split-decision.

Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Erickson Lubin

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m gonna have to go with Manny Pacquiao on this one because he still has good speed, explosiveness, footwork and punches well in combinations. Keith Thurman may be looking to land something big, and he may be able to hurt Manny in some way, but I’m picking Manny by decision.

Jamal James,147-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman comes in with great skills, but I don’t see him beating Manny Pacquiao, who is a really crafty southpaw, is still quick on his feet, and throws fast, sharp combinations. I don’t think Keith can match Pacquiao’s hand-speed and footwork. I can’t rule out a knockout, but I think Pacquiao wins a decision.

Caleb Truax, former 168-pound champion

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think the smart pick is Keith Thurman, but I can’t bet against Manny Pacquiao. I have “PacMan” by close decision in a back and forth fight.

Calvin Ford, trainer of WBA 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis

Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman’s motivated to get his name back into the spotlight, but Manny Pacquiao looks as if he’s up to the challenge after beating Adrien Broner. Pacquiao throws a lot of punches, but I’m going with the younger guy on this one and Thurman winning a great fight by decision.

Andre Rozier, trainer of former 160-pound champion Daniel Jacobs

Pick: Thurman W 12. I have a tale of two fights for you. If we see the “One Time” Thurman of old, it will be a long night for the “PacMan.” If we see the tentative, super cautious Thurman that we have been seeing lately, the “PacMan” will have a chance.

Stephen Fulton, Unbeaten 122-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I see Manny Pacquiao winning a unanimous decision based on his activity and that fact that Keith Thurman has been inactive for a while. Pacquiao lets his hands go more than Thurman, and I believe that, as well as Pacquiao’s heart and being smarter in the ring, wins the fight.

Mario Barrios, undefeated 140-pound contender

Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I believe Manny’s going to be too crafty for Keith Thurman and Thurman won’t be able to land those big shots on him.

Pacquiao – 24
Thurman – 19
Draw – 3

Order the PPV and visit for Fight Night Info and more on Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman.

Pacquiao vs. Thurman will pit boxing’s only eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao against undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature undefeated former world champion Omar “El Panterita” Figueroa Jr. taking on Yordenis Ugás in a WBC welterweight title eliminator, plus hard-hitting former world champion Sergey Lipinets goes toe-to-toe against rugged veteran John “The Gladiator” Molina, Jr. and undefeated power-puncher Luis “Pantera” Nery faces slick-boxing Juan Carlos Payano in a bantamweight bout.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.

For more information: visit, and, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @PBConFOX, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes, @TGBPromotions and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at, &

CONTACTS: Swanson Communications: (202) 783-5500,
Tim Smith, Premier Boxing Champions:
TGB Promotions: (818) 817-8001
Nicole Craig, Mayweather Promotions: (702) 807-1788
John Stouffer, FOX Sports:
Benjamin Spencer, FOX Deportes:
Katharine Sherrer, MGM Resorts International: (702) 692-6700
Fred Sternburg, Manny Pacquiao:, (303) 548-0707
Hanna Bolte, Bolte Media, Keith Thurman:; 310-497-5586


Pacquiao Thurman Header


Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
Thank you very much to the media joining us from all over the world, we are beyond excited for next Saturday, July 20, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View — all starting at 9:00 ET/6:00 PT. It is headlined by the eight-division champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao battling the WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event.

This is a stacked car from top to bottom. It is the biggest event of the summer for boxing and it is can’t miss. Tickets for the event, they are going so fast. It is all being promoted by MP Promotion, TGB Promotions, Mayweather Promotions. They are on sale now. You can get them online, charge by phone 866-740-7711, or in person at any MGM Resorts International Box Office.

Also on today’s call they are available for questions if the media has any questions for them is the President of TGB Promotions Tom Brown, who does an amazing job and works tirelessly. Also the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, a man who knows Manny Pacquiao quite well, Mr. Leonard Ellerbe.

At this time, it gives me great honor and pleasure to introduce the man who’s been involved in boxing for quite a long time and is very familiar with Manny Pacquiao, his long-time publicist Mr. Fred Sternburg.

Fred Sternburg
Thanks so much, Ray. Welcome everybody. Thank you for joining us today. Manny had an amazing camp. According to Freddie and according to Manny it may be their best camp in many years. They’re very excited. It’s the biggest challenge they’ve had in a long time.

Manny has spent about four weeks training in the Philippines. He is finishing his fourth week here in Hollywood at Wild Card Boxing Club. And Freddie Roach is on the call with us. Freddie, you’re just down the street from us where we prefer you to be. How did you think camp is going?

Freddie Roach
It’s a very good training camp, good sparring, and he’s ready to go. We have one more day of sparring today and then we close the camp down. Just getting ready for the fight.

F. Sternburg
Great. And Manny is here as well. Manny, you’re ready to join us? Here he comes. He literally just finished his run and if you were here at his house today, you would have seen about over a dozen people doing sit-ups with him in the front yard. Manny does things just a little differently here. Manny, welcome to the call.

Manny Pacquiao
Good morning. Training camp has been very good and I’m ready for this call.

Did you ever think that you’d still be not only boxing professionally but still at a very high level at the age of 40?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, that’s what I’m trying to prove this time because we know that a lot of our fans and people in boxing were doubting my capability at the age of 40. So I have to prove something this time because at the age of 40 I’m not thinking about my age. I’m thinking about what I can do for the fans.

What is it that gets you doing sit-ups in your front yard in the morning and running and putting in the hard work to train for these fights?

M. Pacquiao
I really love exercise. I’m addicted to exercise. And even if I don’t have a scheduled fight, I always most every day I exercise and I’m playing basketball four to five hours almost every day. So when this time comes and when I have a scheduled fight, then I’m so motivated myself to work hard, to train hard, and to focus to the fight.

You could certainly exercise and do basketball and do all the things you just mentioned without actually getting hit, right?

M. Pacquiao
Yes. Actually after the fight I don’t go to the boxing gym. No boxing at all until I have a scheduled fight.

But I always exercise like playing basketball, sometimes jogging. But no boxing gym at all.

Freddie, what do you see as the motivation for his continued boxing career?

F. Roach
Well, it’s still what he does best. It got him to where he is today. We want to fight a high level person. We’re not in this game just to fight anybody. We want to be the best. And we’d like another championship and I don’t think we’ll stop until we get that.

Do you think Freddie that the opponent, Keith Thurman, is maybe the best of the opponents that Manny’s been with probably since the Mayweather fight?

F. Roach
You can say that. But I don’t think he’s the best fighter. We’ve fought a bunch of better fighters along the way. But yes, he’s a good, solid guy. And it should make for a very good fight.

Do you feel that Thurman has gone over the line with some of the things he’s said to you?

M. Pacquiao
Well, it is kind of over the line for me, but I’m not angry with him. I’m somebody very motivated by all he says. The trash talk that he did, he made even my mom get mad. But it gives me more motivation to focus the training and to focus on my condition, how hard I push the training.

And believe me, this is a very interesting fight for me because it has been a long time that I have focused like this for a fight.

How closely did you watch that fight against Josesito Lopez? And do you feel like watching that fight that he’ll be ready for you?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not considering his performance and style on that fight because he just came back from a long layoff of almost two years. So I understand that. This time, this fight I’m sure he’ll be in 100% condition and I’m sure he did a lot of things in training.

At this point at 40 years old, in the event that you lost this fight would you consider retirement or would you like to keep fighting?

M. Pacquiao
I’m still okay. I can still fight. My body’s reacting well. My mind and everything is fine. And that’s a big favor from God. This is a blessing.

Freddie, I wonder if you’re employing some reverse psychology when you’re saying no, you’re not predicting a knockout is going to happen for Pacquiao at this time. Is this a grand Freddie Roach plan reverse psychology?

F. Roach
No. Manny’s in great shape for this fight and we worked very hard for this fight. And someone asked me if we were looking for a knockout. No, we never look for knockouts. But if it comes, Manny’s in great shape right now and if Thurman wants to trade with us, he will get knocked out.

Do you keep up on the politics and do you stay in touch with your vital political operatives and allies when you’re overseas in America getting ready for a fight? Or can you leave politics alone and purely focus just on the boxing?

M. Pacquiao
I’m focused on my training here in America. We have a long office break. So we resume the work July 22 which is the State of the Nation Address of the President. That’s the start of the work. That’s why after the fight I have to go back to the Philippines to work.

But I’m hearing from my staff in the office, what bills that we’re going to file and what we’re going to do, how many resolutions to file before the session start open.

Are you going to fight one more time this year you think or is that still up in the air?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, there is a scheduled recess. But we will figure it out when the session starts.

How do you prepare for someone that you really haven’t seen at his 100% best in at least a couple of years?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not basing anything off his last performances in his last fight because he was coming from a long layoff of almost I think almost two years. So I understand that as a boxer I really understand that it’s hard to start again. But this time around he worked hard, he’s well prepared for this fight because he’s not fighting Lopez but he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao. So I’m expecting him to work hard and prepare 100%.

Yesterday at the media workout, I was reading that you said that Thurman remind you the most of Ricky Hatton of all the fighters that you faced in the past. And I’m curious to see why you think Thurman reminds you of Ricky Hatton?

M. Pacquiao
The style, the similar style like that. I think they have similar style. But not really the same but it does look like a similar style.

Does it enter your mind as sort of when the window of this great run is going to close or that doesn’t really enter your mindset?

M. Pacquiao
In balancing my body conditioning, my mind, and how I work hard, it depends on how I focus and work hard in training. Right now, I still hunger and I’m still enjoying this and happy to do a training preparation for the fight.

Even my coaching staff, they’re very happy because they’re still watching me and having to tell me when to stop, not watching me to push to do more. But watching me to stop because I might over train.

Has your style changed at all over the years or do you fight the same way?

M. Pacquiao
My style is still the same but I’m more experienced now compared to before. How I fight in the ring and my strategy, my footwork that’s not changing but it’s still the same. But I’m more experienced and my timing in the ring is better than ever.

Freddie from your perspective as the trainer, what do you see is the biggest difference in terms of let’s say training and preparation for Manny at this age versus how you guys prepared back when he was younger?

F. Roach
His work ethic is unbelievable. He wants to work every minute of every day. He wants to do 40 rounds a day in the ring and so forth. We do have to hold him back a little bit. We’re on a five-day running schedule right now instead of six and we’re giving him a couple extra days off during the week trying to get him not to over train because he does have a tendency of wanting to do that.

We got him right where we want him right now and he’s in great shape. He’s ready to go.

Is Keith Thurman the first opponent you’ve faced with a combination of both power and speed at the highest levels?

M. Pacquiao
In my experience, I’ve encountered many boxers that have speed and power. And this is not new for me. I think Thurman, he’s not really that quick but I have to be careful in the ring, in the fight. I have to make sure that everything is fine.

F. Roach
Thurman’s a strong guy and he’s a good puncher. Manny’s speed will overwhelm him, I feel. He hasn’t been in the ring with speed like Manny Pacquiao has and most people get overwhelmed when they face Manny. His speed is unbelievable and at 40 years old it’s as good as ever.

What are your dreams in boxing right now Manny?

M. Pacquiao
I just want to maintain my name in the top of boxing and continue my career. I already accomplished what I want to accomplish in boxing. I’m continuing my career because boxing is my passion. I have lots to do in this, especially because God gave me these blessings and favor that they gave me good health and this is speed and power.

How many fighters have you faced before that you think were better or more complete than Thurman?

M. Pacquiao
Thurman is a different style. Thurman I can say similar style with Ricky Hatton. But I won’t take him lightly. I have to make sure that I’m not careless in the ring.

What about your son fighting?

M. Pacquiao
My son is starting to do some boxing and I am going to support him.

If Thurman fights exactly as you expect him to are you going to knock him out?

M. Pacquiao
That’s going to be lovely if he fights toe to toe with me. Knockouts will come but I’m not saying that I’m going to have a prediction with this fight. I don’t want to be careless in the fight.

But if that chance is given to me, why not? I have to grab that possibility to knock him out.

If Thurman fights you the way Jeff Horn did, would that approach really bother you or would you welcome that?

M. Pacquiao:
Actually, on the Jeff Horn fight I think I over trained. That’s why I have to admit that. But this time around my coaching staff, Freddie, Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune, they’re watching closely to not let me get over trained so that in the fight I’m going to be throwing a lot of punches.

After the Horn fight, we learned a lot. I learned a lot. And we changed really the training, not the whole thing, but I give my body rest because it’s hard to make my body recovery when you hit the age of 40.

Freddie, Dan Birmingham and Keith Thurman confirmed that they’re coming directly at you and looking for a knockout early in the fight. Thoughts?

F. Roach
Yes. Talk’s talk. Let’s see who really shows up.

Do you feel as though Keith Thurman gives you any different challenges than Broner did?

M. Pacquiao
He has a different style compared to Broner. And I think this challenge is different than Broner’s fight. But I know Broner is faster than Keith Thurman.

Freddie you said yesterday it’s not like Thurman’s a world class fighter. Why did you say that?

F. Roach
Because I think Broner is a better fighter.

Will we ever see that Manny Pacquiao fight in the Philippines?

M. Pacquiao
That’s what I’m looking for, I’d like to.

F. Sternburg
All right. We’re ready to wrap up here. Manny, any last comments?

M. Pacquiao
Thank you everyone for this interview and I hope to see you in Vegas. And I can’t wait to fight on July 20 next week. Thank you.

F. Sternburg
Freddie before you clean the gym up before Manny gets there today, any final comments?

Freddie Roach
No, he’s just running and trying to catch up to the slowest fighter in the world. No comment.
It’s ‘One Time’ versus ‘All Time.’


Pacquiao Thurman Header


Boxing’s Only Eight-Division Champion Pacquiao Faces Welterweight World Champion Thurman in PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Main Event Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Photo Credits- Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions



LOS ANGELES (July 10, 2019) – Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, hosted media in Los Angeles Wednesday at his training camp as he prepares to face WBA Welterweight Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman Saturday, July 20 in the main event of a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.

Pacquiao returned to fight in the United States in January for the first time since 2016 and defeated former four-division champion Adrien Broner at MGM Grand. Along with co-trainers Buboy Fernandez and Freddie Roach, Pacquiao spoke to media and worked out for the media at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Here is what Pacquiao and his co-trainers had to say Wednesday:


“Training camp has been very good. We started in the Philippines before coming here and everything has been smooth. We picked this fight against Thurman because we believed we could give great action to the fans and I know I’ll be ready to deliver on my end.

“The more Thurman talks, the more it will help me. His words are motivating me and encouraging me to work even harder day after day.

“Boxing is about throwing punches, not who has the bigger body. My speed and power will speak for itself. He may underestimate me now, but he’ll talk differently once he’s in the ring with me.

“I’m not taking too much from Keith’s performance against Josesito Lopez. We understand he was coming off of a layoff. I know that he’s not going to take me lightly. I expect him to be 100% in the ring.

“I always feel like I have the ability to beat any fighter out there. I’m still in this sport and I’m planning on a lot more memorable victories.

“Thurman reminds me the most of Ricky Hatton, of fighters that I’ve faced. Will it be the same result? You never know.

“When you work hard in the gym, you can do what you want to do in the ring. It makes it easy and that’s our goal here in camp.

“It’s going to be another page of my story on Saturday, July 20. There’s a big chance that this fight is not going the distance. I’ll be prepared, but I’m thinking it’s not going 12 rounds.

“I always try to push myself and punish myself in training. That’s the key to my career. It leads to everything I can do. My speed, power and footwork all come together from my hard work.”


“We always study our opponent before training camp and determine what we’ll focus on based off that. We have great sparring partners for Thurman. The biggest difference these days is that we have more days off than when Manny was younger.

“Manny still has the speed and the power. This is going to be a great fight on July 20. Manny wants to fight toe-to-toe and show the whole world that he can still fight.”


“I am not predicting a knockout. We are just counting on winning every round, one at a time.

“I think Manny is going to go down as a one of the greatest fighters of all time. I still have a long way to go to become the greatest trainer in the world.

“I like Manny in the later rounds, that’s where he usually excels. Thurman, to me, that is where he usually starts fading, especially in his last two fights. He starts out quickly and fades as the fight goes on.

“Manny has heard the trash talk from Thurman and he’s not happy about it. But Manny isn’t the type of guy to carry anger into a fight. He will fight the smart fight and stick with the game plan that we have set out to win this fight.

“I think so at this point because he does power with his left hand and then he goes with the big over hand right and that was one of his favorite moves during that time. The left hook does seem to have taken over in that last fight and I just don’t think he’s as much as he was that one time.”



Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
Thank you so much to the media calling in. We are just over a week and a half away from an amazing night of boxing on Saturday, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It is PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View all starting at 9 ET/ 6 PT with the main event of the evening featuring eight division world champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao taking on the WBA Welterweight World Champion, Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event. This is the biggest event of the summer for boxing. It is can’t miss. Tickets for this event are available and the event is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions.

They’re on sale now going very fast. You can get them online at, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Make sure you get your tickets now or order it on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.

We want to go ahead and we want to welcome a man who is a dear friend of mine. Talk about promoting events all over the world, he has been so instrumental in being a catalyst for boxing especially when it comes to Premier Boxing Champions. Please welcome the President of TGB Promotions, Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Well thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call for what should be an amazing Pay-Per-View boxing card presented by Premier Boxing Champions at the beautiful MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 20.

Now I look at everything as a matchmaker and this is a sensational fight, an incredible matchup of styles and one of the best fights you can make in the welterweight division. Obviously this showdown presents huge implications in the weight division, which has historically always been boxing’s premier division.

Neither of these fighters really require any type of introduction. This is absolutely the best fighting the best and it’s about as good as it gets. So thank you for being on the call and now I’ll throw it back over to Ray.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Tom, greatly appreciate it. Another one of the promoters for next Saturday, July 20 is a man who’s been a part of some record-breaking events, please welcome the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe.

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you, Ray. I can’t wait until next Saturday night. This is a terrific fight between two great fighters. Both guys I know for a fact are extremely motivated to give the fans a great fight and I think this fight will be an all-action fight from the opening bell. In Keith’s case, the one thing I know about the buildup to this fight in which I’ve been very, very impressed with him, is that he understands how to promote his fights. He’s extremely confident coming into this fight because he knows what beating a guy like Manny Pacquiao does for his career.

It not only adds a Hall of Fame name to his career, and Keith already has the best resume out of all the welterweights that are out there now, but this puts him on a whole another level. And based on everything that I’m hearing from Keith and what he’s been saying the whole promotion, he’s ready to bring it to Manny Pacquiao on a whole other level that has never been done.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Leonard. When it comes to prize fighting, you need a great team around you and Keith Thurman, who’s undefeated, has a world-class team that is with him and has been a part of his career from its inception. It’s a great honor and pleasure to welcome his elite trainer, a man who’s been in the corner of Winky Wright, Jeff Lacy and also has been so instrumental in the career of Keith Thurman, a man who I think doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to being a world class elite trainer, it gives me great honor and a pleasure to introduce Dan Birmingham.

Dan Birmingham
Thank you, everybody for having me. Let’s get it on.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Dan. Short and sweet and to the point. Well now we turn our attention to the WBA Welterweight World Champion, the former unified welterweight world champion, joining us from Clearwater, Florida. Talk about being a part of some big moments.

This young man has fought at such an elite level for such a long time, with notable victories over current WBC Champion Shawn Porter and two-division champion, Danny Garcia. And now he’s front and center next Saturday night, July 20. Please welcome the reigning and defending WBA Welterweight Champion of the World with an undefeated record 29 wins, no losses, 22 big wins coming by way of knockouts, please welcome Keith “One Time” Thurman.

Keith Thurman
This camp has been a great camp. I’m really just happy to be back in the beautiful sport of boxing, happy to be back in the limelight, happy to have the biggest fight of my career. This fight, in my opinion, has always been in the making. I always do my best when I’m an active fighter to bring you guys some of the most exciting fights of the year. This is definitely one of those kind of fights.

I’m just happy to be sharing the ring with a legend, Manny Pacquiao, and have this beautiful opportunity to be performing once again at MGM Grand and showcasing my skills and my talent to the world and just creating my own legacy and leaving my own mark in this beautiful sport of boxing.

From your perspective was that Josesito Lopez fight the kind of tough 12 round fight that you needed to get the rust off after the long layoff with the injuries?

Keith Thurman
It was good. I dropped him in the second round. I could have possibly had it finished in that round. They would have said, oh, Keith Thurman is back, he’s devastating, but, I wouldn’t have had a tough fight. I know what kind of champion I am and it just takes certain fights and certain challenges for me to prove how I can fight out of rough situations.

In the seventh round I showed once again that Keith Thurman is not a punk. If you want to fight me, fight me. You want to hurt me, hurt me. If you drop me, you drop me, but you better stop me. As long as you don’t stop me, I’m coming out the champion like I always do because that’s what I do; I box hard, I box smart and I’m always looking for the win. I’m always prepared to challenge myself. I was brought up in this sport, I’m a real fighter, I’m a real boxer, I’m educated and Manny Pacquiao is going to get a piece of it one on one.

The Pacquiao people might have looked at that your last fight and said, we’ll fight Keith Thurman because we don’t think he’s all that. So maybe your performance, maybe not your greatest, but actually helped you land this huge fight?

K. Thurman
That’s been the talk of the town ever since they talked about the fight. At the end of the day, who cares? This still is the most exciting fight of the year. Errol Spence versus Mikey Garcia and that didn’t hold up to the hype. When Keith Thurman fights, it’s a great fight. I think Keith Thurman makes all the great welterweight fights from here on out. It doesn’t matter who it is, when Keith Thurman fought Shawn Porter it was nominated for the Fight of the Year. When Keith Thurman fought Danny Garcia, the fans had a tremendous show.

When Keith Thurman fights Manny Pacquiao, if Keith Thurman fights Errol Spence Jr., if Keith Thurman fights Terrence Crawford, I think Keith Thurman is the new Manny Pacquiao. I think I am the most exciting fighter in the welterweight division today. I might show some weakness that might give them a little bit of confidence, but outside of that, like Ellerbe mentioned, Keith Thurman has the best resume at 147. Two years out of the game and I still hold the best resume at 147.

You can’t really take much away from me. You can throw some criticism and some shots if you want but, I believe that like I said, I bring entertainment to the welterweight division, always have, always will. If I win, I’m your entertainment, if I lose, I’m your entertainment. Keith Thurman is one of the greatest fighters in the welterweight division today hands down.

Talk more about your decision to drop out of high school and pursue professional boxing full time at around age 15 .
K. Thurman
Yes, at the end of the day, Keith Thurman is just not a 9-5 kind of guy. Know thyself. I’ve always known what I wanted for myself. I was 10 years old when I said nobody is going to be the boss of me. And I shocked a lot of people with that statement. I can barely listen to my own mother, how am I going to have a boss?

At the end of the day I was rebellious, I was a dreamer and I didn’t know it at a young age, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I was going to pursue boxing and hope that boxing opens up doors that allows me to live out my life as an entrepreneur. Luckily for me I’ve had great success and I believe that I will have a life after boxing as well.

At the end of the day, I’m a dreamer and you can tell your kids, you need this and you need that and I looked at every adult and said I need to dream. I need to live my dream and if I fail, I’ll listen to every little bit of advice that you have from here on out.

My dream comes first, and I’ll put my best foot forward and I’ll go back to school at 35 years old. I will pick up a book and I’ll be back on a college campus. At least if today I go to college, I can afford the tuition.

I don’t have to rely on my mother. I don’t have to rely on the government. So I’m just a different kind of breed and I was very passionate. To this day I’m still very passionate. I live off of passion. It’s a blessing to at a young age to understand your passions.

There’s many children who don’t have a sense of direction who don’t know what they want to do, don’t know what they want to be, and maybe they have a skill set. But, maybe that’s not what they want to inspire in life. So I’m a very fortunate individual and I’m very blessed to live the life that I live.

Do you think you’ll ever try to go back and get that diploma or is it not really worth it at this point?

K. Thurman
You ask me, I’m a doctor already. Educated in boxing.

What was in your mind Dan, when they told you about Keith Thurman’s focus and desire that at that age he would drop out of high school and go pursue professional boxing?

Dan Birmingham:
Well, I actually was around him. I was his assistant coach. Ben was his lead coach until his death, but I was his assistant coach for a long time. If you know Keith well, he’s self-educated. He knows a lot of things that you can’t pick up out of books. He learns it. He lives it. So, in that regard, education really wasn’t in his plans.

Do you feel that too much has been made about the difficulty you had in the seventh round against Josesito Lopez or do you understand why people are pointing to that from your last fight?

K. Thurman
I remember talking to Max Kellerman backstage after my first fight on HBO and I said, Max what did you think about the performance? He said, well, yes, you did good Keith. But what happens the day you get hit?

I always thought to myself, Max do you want to hit me and find out? You know what I’m saying? Because you don’t know Keith Thurman. You don’t know what I did at the age of 15. You don’t know the road that I’ve been on. But I said okay, respect.

There was a dude named Victor Ortiz at the time and he got beat up and he almost cried on national TV, but Keith Thurman isn’t a punk and I’ll show you one day. So, now, you’re asking the same question, what do you think about Keith Thurman, he isn’t going to say well Keith Thurman can’t take a punch because they’ve seen me take a punch.

You’ve got to talk about what you see. If you see somebody look weak, they look weak. If you see somebody look flawed, they look flawed. If you see somebody look unconditioned, they’re unconditioned. You have to report what you see, and I got caught. I got caught. I was in danger. I remember after I got caught and then I got caught again.

And then after I got caught again, I then got caught again. I got hit with three big shots that round. I said you better put your hands up. You better move your feet because only you know you’re okay right now. The whole world thinks you’re going to be knocked out. The whole world thinks you’re about to be knocked out. But just get out of this round and let’s show them what kind of champion you really are.

So, it isn’t about too much talk, it is what it is. It probably was one of my most vulnerable rounds of my career to date. A lot of fighters would not be able to get out of the round in the way that I did. And to me it’s just evidence of how great I truly am. They have a little saying in boxing, it’s not about when you get knocked down, it’s about what you do when you get back up.

I don’t even let them put me down. It’s just boxing. It’s just another black eye. It’s just a sport. I have an ‘0’ and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me. Josesito Lopez had it right there in front of his eyes. He couldn’t close the deal. He couldn’t close it.

Keith was that the most trouble you’ve ever been in, even in sparring or anything in that round?

K. Thurman
I was scared sparring Jeff Lacy when I was 16-years-old. Eventually he had to tell me, “We can’t spar anymore because you hit too hard and I’m a grown man. I want to knock you out and you’re 16 years old. I don’t want to have that on my conscious. So, you can no longer be my sparring partner because you do too much and I want to knock you out and you’re a kid. I don’t want to knock a kid out.”

So, we had to stop sparring. I knew he could knock me out. I wouldn’t let him, but if he actually connected, you don’t let people knock you out. So, at the end of the day I really respected Jeff Lacy for sitting me down and having that conversation and explaining to me why we will never share the ring ever again.

How will you be better in this fight?

K. Thurman
I try to explain to you guys from the beginning of the year when the Josesito Lopez fight happened. All of 2019 is just Keith Thurman getting back. This is still a get back year. At least I’m staying busy and I’m taking the momentum from one training camp into the next training camp.

I hired two strength and conditioning coaches and I’m really dedicated and I’m taking this seriously because being great requires great effort. We all know that Floyd Mayweather wasn’t one of the best ever because he was able to eat McDonald’s and make weight. It’s because he was running a lot of miles. He was doing standing sit ups. He was boxing his butt off and eating McDonald’s as well as making weight.

That’s what Floyd was doing. So, to be great it takes great effort. I’m applying myself in a better fashion and I believe that it should show in the fight. I should have a better performance.

L. Ellerbe
I think with Keith showing some vulnerability in that last fight I think that this is definitely going to help him in this fight because anytime that you show something like that then the whole mindset of people changes, because he might have been in most people eyes as the boogey man in the division.

When he showed that he got caught and he was able to come back the way he did, it showed great heart, the heart of a champion. The same thing happened when Floyd got caught with Shane Mosley, not that those are similar situations, but it just shows. We saw a different kind of Keith. And I think he’ll use that as momentum coming into the Manny fight and have a lot more confidence as well. Similarly, to what he had said, he needed to be more alert, to be more aware.

It’s the little things that that help you grow as a fighter and make you a better fighter. That’s one of the things that I had a discussion with Floyd about when he got caught with the big shot from Shane. It’s showing how you are going to respond back. He came back and he fought like a dog. He walked him down. Keith has that same kind of mentality.

How much better shape do you feel that you’re in for this fight than you were for the Lopez fight?

K. Thurman
I feel much better. People think I’m playing. I really train myself at night at L.A Fitness on a spin bike. That was my conditioning for the Josesito Lopez fight. No disrespect to Josesito Lopez, but I can’t recall the last time a flat-footed fighter, Latino fighter beat Keith Thurman.

The last two amateurs that beat me were Charles Hatley and Demetrius Andrade. They were not flat-footed, Latino fighters. Styles makes fights and I knew I could rely on my boxing IQ to be victorious in the fight. In the seventh round, I realized it was a little bit of a gamble. We got out of it and if I want to look better than that, I should train harder. That’s what we’re doing.

Does it feel good being back in the groove preparing for fights, being in this type of environment instead of having long rehabs for injuries and surgeries that you’ve had for the last couple of years?

Keith Thurman
Definitely man. I’m living out my dream. This is my passion. I didn’t do a lot of interviews. I didn’t do a lot of talk in my inactivity because I like to talk positive. I like to talk action. Being an inactive fighter, to me, there’s not a lot to talk about. What am I going to talk about, my struggle or am I going to talk about my depression, my sadness? What am I going to talk about?

At the end of the day, I’m really, really happy to be back in the sport. It’s a beautiful opportunity. It’s a dream come true. And I’m just back living my dream. I love the sport of boxing. I want to have fun. This is my job. When you go to work you should enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy your job you should get a new job. I love my job and this is my entertainment.

Do you view this fight as the one that does show who the best welterweight in the world is or do you feel like that’s something that needs to be decided with more fights among that elite group of fighters down the road?

K. Thurman
Don’t know. Don’t care. It’s not my job. It’s your job to report opinionated things. At the end of the day, I’m living a dream. I’m happy. We’re making money, we’re making history in a sport that I’ve always wanted to make history in.

All I want to do is leave my mark so that when I walk out from here, I can hold my head up high. All I want is for one day 20 years from now, when people talk boxing, they’ll argue this, they’ll argue that, but there’s going to be one dude who said you know who I really like, man I like that kid Keith “One Time” Thurman. That is my ultimate goal. I want be amongst the great names. I want to be amongst the names so that there’s some fan who will never forget what I’ve done.

With Pacquiao’s last three fights, is one more important than the other or have you looked beyond those last three fights?

K. Thurman
At the end of the day, he’s come back strong after a loss. Maybe he underestimated Jeff Horn, maybe he really did fall ill overseas – they said that he was kind of sick the week of the fight and obviously no fighter is going to pull out of a fight.

Styles make fights. Pacquiao could have underestimated Horn, he could have not trained the same way. He looked terrific against Lucas Matthysse and he dominated Adrien Broner. Obviously he doesn’t think he’s done. He doesn’t like to talk about retirement. He’s going to come to dominate Keith Thurman, which is something no one’s ever done.

He is also inspired to win a world title, something he’s never won throughout his whole career because the last time he fought for the super WBA title was against Floyd Mayweather, upon which he suffered a loss. This is his second opportunity to acquire something that he’s never acquired before throughout his whole career.

Pacquiao’s got a lot going for him. He wants to prove his greatness, prove his legacy is one that will never be forgotten even though it cannot be forgotten win, loss, draw – it cannot be forgotten because he’s accomplished so much in this sport of boxing. But he still is reaching for greatness at the age of 40 and it’s admirable.

I’m young. I definitely want to do more and on the 20th, I’m going to show you more.

Can you envision yourself fighting at 40 years old?

K. Thurman
No. My grandfather never liked that I was going to be boxer. My grandfather on my father’s side never liked that I was going to be a boxer. My family’s all from Ohio outside of Cleveland. My grandfather said, “If you’re going to do it boy, get in and get out.”

He meant it in a two-fold way. He meant if you can stop them, stop them and get out of the ring early and make your money and get out of boxing while you’ve got sense and you can talk straight. Because the big thing about fighters back in the day is the punch drunk syndrome which even Ben Getty used to talk to me about it.

I’m going to do my best to not take too many shots come July 20th. A few more of these paychecks and we won’t be here when we’re 40 years old. I don’t need $100 million in life. I just need a little bit of moolah.

You are 30 years old. You are a decade younger than Pacquiao, you’ve had fewer than half the fights he’s had. There’s some conventional wisdom that you’re not going to take it easy in the early rounds, but maybe you save a little something, something for the championship rounds and see if a 40 year old man can take your best heat in 9, 10, 11 and 12.

So I’m curious to hear from you and your trainer if that’s been part of your thinking.

K. Thurman
I’m going to do to him what I did to Danny Garcia. I’m going to hit him as soon as I can hit him.

Freddie Roach is the only one that talks trash and that reminds me of the Danny Garcia fight. For him it was his daddy and his trainer. Pacquiao knows that it’s the hands that do all the talking. Ben Getty said, “Go out there and show them your power, boy.” He said, “I don’t care who it is.” He said, “when you hit them, they’re going to do a pretty little dance.”

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to destroy a legend and to create my own legacy. How can I not go for it?

If Manny Pacquiao is the man that beats me, he’s the man that beats me and I’m going to shake his hand after the fight and congratulate him. But when Keith Thurman steps into the ring, you’re dealing with Keith Thurman and he’s a bad man.

One thing you said in response to a previous question was that you weren’t so inclined to talk when you were out of boxing. You didn’t want to talk about your depression, you didn’t want to talk about your sadness. You made it sound like it cut a little bit deeper than just the sort of general frustration of having to overcome an injury. Is that a fair assessment? Was this something that really got into your head and left you wondering about how this all might go?

K. Thurman
I’m a very passionate individual. I’m a dreamer. It’s human nature that not every day is going to be our best day and for me my thought process started to get a little morbid. I started having to ask myself the question are you ever going to fight again. Is your career over at the age of 28, 29 years old? Are you done?

Is that all that you will ever accomplish in your career? It was sad but I could still be proud about being a two-time world champion unifying the WBA with the WBC when I defeated the undefeated world champion Danny Garcia at the time.

I’m still in my prime so it was quite depressing to start thinking like that and obviously I got myself out of that chain of thought and getting into the gym also helps because as you’re not training, you’re not feeling good either.

As you train and you lose weight, you know everybody feels better about themselves and training is a natural way to increase endorphins in the brain. Not everything can be your best day and I had some depressing moments and some negative thought patterns at that time.

But luckily for me, my doctors kept encouraging that you will be back and I could have gotten back at the end of 2018, but I talked to my team, I talked to my wife and I was encouraged that nothing good was coming out of 2018. So let’s just wait for 2019. Let’s start fresh. Let’s hit it in January and patience can be a virtue sometimes and I believe we’re having a tremendous year and I’m obviously a lot happier to be back in the sport.

Some people seem to be unhappy about the testing for this fight. Can you share your thoughts on that?

K. Thurman
I’ve always been a clean fighter. I’ve been tested throughout my boxing career at all times. At the end of the day, there has been testing and it was done through the promoters.

It’s not my job to create testing. I fight clean at all times ever since I was an amateur striving to be an Olympian. I’m prideful that even my boxing style is pretty clean. You don’t see Keith Thurman being warned for low blows constantly.
You don’t see me being warned for head butts or anything like that. I have always been a clean fighter. I always will be a clean fighter and it’s one of the least of my concerns. Manny Pacquiao, we’ve watched him. He doesn’t look 10 years younger. Pacquiao is a natural athlete who’s been active for the past year. He’s been very active and he stays in shape. He doesn’t look anything out of the norm. Whatever the promoters request, we do. There will be testing just like every fight at the world championship fight before and after the fight.

How have you been incorporating yoga in your training for this camp?

I have not. I’m definitely a fan of yoga. There’s a lot of athletes who are fans of yoga in today’s generation. Yoga has tremendous health benefits especially in combination with meditation. Meditation also has health benefits. It helps with your stretching. It helps with your centering. It helps with your focus. Yoga can help with your breathing, so I’m aware of a lot of the different ways it can be utilized by athletes.

But in this specific training camp I did not utilize yoga that much. I have a massage therapist who also stretches me and he opens me up and keeps my muscles moving well, keeps my body moving well. I stuck with those basics and a lot of hard training. It’s hard to train twice a day and find time to stretch for an hour.

So was it specifically something you decided to not do this camp conscientiously because it didn’t work for you previously or what was the thought process in not going with the alternative and spiritual training programs that you usually go with?

K. Thurman
I never do it. I don’t think you’ve ever seen me do it on film in a training camp in the past. For the Shawn Porter fight, Shawn Porter did more yoga than I did. I like yoga. I’ll participate in yoga but I’ll do it more in my off-season than when I’m in season. I like to focus on my boxing, my strategy and my technique to win each and every fight. I have a stretching guy who will stretch me and keep my body open and moving properly. It’s really hard for me to fit yoga into the overall regimen because I’m focused on training hard, strength and conditioning and losing weight.

Pacquiao is known for his stamina, his energy, his speed. How have you been preparing to kind of face an opponent that probably you haven’t faced before from a stamina standpoint?

K. Thurman
Watching the tape and just knowing Pacquiao, he is a guy who will produce numbers as long as you let him. Movement can always make it difficult for a fighter like Pacquiao to put out the output that they might want to put out or an output that they’re used to putting out.

But movement can also neglect the activity of an overall fight. I just know how boxing works. If I ever feel like he’s getting off a little too much maybe I will increase some of my movement. At the same time, his conditioning is always great. But when I look back at films there’s not a lot of people that go to Manny Pacquiao’s body. I don’t know if that’s because of his small, short size. I don’t know if it’s difficult.

I remember Ellerbe making a statement that Manny is an awkward fighter and that Keith might find himself in the ring having a little bit more difficulty than what he’s mentally prepared for. That can happen or it can work in my favor. We’ll find out real soon.

Were you a fan of Pacquiao during his prime?

K. Thurman
No, I was not a boxing fan at a young age. I was not a boxing spectator fan. I’m not a big fan of almost any sport because I’m not a spectator.

I love participating in sports. I’m not one that sits down, watches games. I live too much of an active lifestyle. I want to be apart of the action. Put me in the game coach. Give me a piece of the action. I started watching more professional boxing when I knew I was going to turn pro. The first fight I really remember from Manny Pacquiao off the top of my head would happen to be Pacquiao-De La Hoya.

Does this feel like a new phase of your career, a new level of accomplishment to get to fight against an all-time great in Pacquiao?

K. Thurman
I wanted this fight six years ago at the MGM Grand. I just always thought that it would be a beautiful fight. I would always love the opportunity and to have the opportunity right in front of me, we’re counting down the days. It’s just beauty man. It just shows that dreams do come true. With hard work and dedication you can make anything happen.

I fight in the ring wearing red, white and blue because when Thurman’s in the ring he’s living out his American dream. I do not change my colors because I have pride. I have passion and I’m just grateful to live this life. This is just an amazing, amazing opportunity.

Manny Pacquiao has almost 70 fights in his record. It’s as if I’m fighting Sugar Ray Robinson himself. It’s as if I’m fighting Roberto Duran. This is Manny Pacquiao. It’s just a tremendous, tremendous feeling and it’s going to feel even greater when my hand is raised at the end of the night.


R. Flores
At this time we really appreciate Keith taking out precious moments from his training camp. He is always very kind and friendly to the media around the world. Keith before we let you go if you have any final statement before you get set for your showdown next Saturday, July 20, against Manny Pacquiao, PBC on Fox Sports pay-per-view.

K. Thurman
Thank you guys for being in support of this tremendous event. This is one of the biggest events of the year. I’m here today. I’ll be here tomorrow. I’m not afraid to let it my ‘0’ go. If he beats me, he beats me. But I’m going to be putting on a show July 20. Don’t miss it.



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Welterweight World Champion Thurman Battles Eight-Division Champion Manny Pacquiao in Main Event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Event Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas


Photo Credits- Damon Gonzalez/TGB Promotions



ST. PETERSBURG, FL (July 10, 2019) – Undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman hosted media at the St. Pete Boxing Club in Florida Wednesday as he showed off his skills in advance of his Saturday, July 20 showdown against eight-division world boxing champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao headlining a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The FOX pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is highlighted by this high-stakes match that will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing’s deepest and most talented divisions.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.

Here is what Thurman had to say Wednesday, along with his trainer Dan Birmingham, plus Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, from the St. Petersburg Boxing Club:


“This is history in the making. This is one of the best fights all year. This is the biggest fight of my career. You see a lot of fight posters in this gym, I remember when Winky Wright, fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. I remember when he fought ‘Tito’ Trinidad. For me, this is my Mosley. This is my ‘Tito’ Trinidad moment. I get to show the world that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is not just a great champion he can beat legends.

“I’ve always told everybody since the day that I was first on TV. I called out the world champions then. They didn’t know who Keith Thurman was, but I was trying to let the world know that Keith Thurman belongs at the top and now the world is finally understanding why.

“I’ve had one heck of a journey. In reflection, I’m proud of all of my success. I hope to accomplish more in my career and it all starts with this fight on Saturday night.

“I bet none of Pacquiao’s sparring partners were going at his body. Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is going to touch the body. I want to know how he reacts.

“It’s really good for me to have this momentum back. This is the first time in four years that I have fought twice in one year and it’s not just twice in one year, it’s twice in almost six months. I’ve taken the momentum of getting the dust brushed off of us in January against Josesito Lopez. We hired two conditioning coaches in preparation for this fight, so that I can give the fight fans, along with myself, a tremendous performance next Saturday.

“My prediction? Less than six rounds. I would love to be 30-0 with 23 knockouts. We’ve got 22 and we’ve held those 22 knockouts for a little too long. It’s time to get one more knockout. 

“There’s always a question of will I get injured again. As a puncher you can always find ways to hurt your hands. Hands were not made to punch each other in the skull. We’re craftsmen. We’re tile workers, wood workers, mechanical workers. These hands were designed for something a little different, but luckily with different forms of therapy, we feel confident for this fight and pray that we stay healthy in the future so that we can keep giving the world tremendous fights.

“The time is now. I can’t be the underdog because I am the undefeated champion of the world. He’s the legend, but I have 10 years of youth on my side. However, we’ve seen world champions and legends do tremendous things at later dates. For example, Bernard Hopkins won the world title at 45 years old. Is Manny Pacquiao that kind of world champion? Keith Thurman will be the first one to find out.” 

DAN BIRMINGHAM, Thurman’s Trainer

“I think he’s the top of this division. I think he’s the very best out there, I really do.

Keith has a new focus and increased intensity for this one. He’s anxious to fight and anxious to train. His power, ferociousness and tenacity will be a problem for Manny. We’ve only increased that in this camp. 

“We’ve mixed up sparring with some guys who are like Manny in some ways, but are also tough, strong fighters who can take a punch. You’ve got to be tough to box with Keith.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“Keith is a tremendous fighter. He’s undefeated and a world champion. Now, he’s taking on a legend like Manny Pacquiao. It gets no bigger than that. 

“We have Keith Thurman, undefeated world champion. He has the best resume out of all of the welterweights out there in the entire sport. Victories over Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and now he’s taking on a legend in Manny Pacquiao, who has taken on everyone, including Floyd Mayweather. When it comes to name recognition with the general public, it gets no bigger than Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman. 

“I think the fight does end in a knockout. We are going to see who knocks out who. Both men are highly motivated to accomplish that.” 



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Pacquiao vs. Thurman Headlines Premier Boxing Champions FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

“You’re going to see a world class performance on July 20 that has me standing alone on top of the division.” – Thurman

ST. PETERSBURG, FL. (July 8, 2019) – Keith “One Time” Thurman’s victories have always been the center of conversation. Even with nine championship fights and eight title defenses already under his belt, his Saturday, July 20 fight against Manny Pacquaio could prove to be the most significant, as he steps onto boxing’s biggest stage looking to capture a momentous victory.

Pacquiao vs. Thurman will pit the undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Thurman against boxing’s only eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The FOX pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.

Coming off a majority decision over Josesito Lopez that ended a 22-month ring absence in January, Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), 30, had won a close unanimous decision over former title holder “Showtime” Shawn Porter in June 2016 and a split-decision over two-division title winner Danny “Swift” Garcia in March 2017, adding Garcia’s WBC crown to his WBA version, before he vacated the WBC title due to injury.

Thurman broke down all of his title performances in anticipation of the fight that could cement his place amongst boxing’s best of this era.

KO 10 Diego Chaves, July 27, 2013, AT&T Center, San Antonio: The 24-year-old Thurman came off a near-shutout unanimous decision over former champion Jan Zaveck in March 2013 and faced an unbeaten Argentine interim WBA champion who was after his fifth consecutive stoppage win and had knocked out 18 of 22 opponents.

Thurman traded early power shots, controlled tempo with his athleticism and boxing ability and floored Chaves with a ninth round left hook to the liver before dropping him for the final time with a right hand in the 10th round. Chaves failed to beat the count as Thurman became a 147-pound titleholder.

“The Diego Chaves fight was the biggest fight of my career, elevating me to the WBA interim champion,” said Thurman. “I broke him down round by round and landed a beautiful body shot in the ninth round and after that it was a matter of time. That was a fight that earned me worldwide respect and was the start of everything for me.”

TKO 9 Jesus Soto Karass, December 14, 2013, Alamodome, San Antonio: Soto Karass’ previous victory was a 12th-round stoppage of two-time belt holder Andre Berto in a fight that saw him rise from an 11th-round knockdown. Hurt by a hard right in the first round, Thurman recovered, flooring Soto Karass with a left uppercut in the fifth and again from a powerful combination in the ninth as the referee ended matters.

“Soto Karass was coming off a victory over Andre Berto which made it an important measuring stick fight for me,” said Thurman, “He did open the fight by tagging me in the first round, but I dropped him in the fifth and again in the ninth and was able to finish him off for my first title defense.”
RTD 3 Julio Diaz, April 26, 2014, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif: In a one-sided beat-down, former champion Diaz took a knee from a left to the temple the second round and retired prior to the fourth from a body shot that caused rib damage. Diaz never fought again.

“That was a tremendous fight for me as the headliner in my first main event,” said Thurman. “Diaz was coming off of good showings against Shawn Porter, fighting Porter to a draw once, and Amir Khan, whom he dropped in their fight. I also had the opportunity to make a statement. I did that by stopping him in only three rounds.”

UD 12 Leonard Bundu, December 13, 2014, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas: A previously unbeaten 40-year-old switch-hitting veteran, Bundu (31-1-2, 11 KO) was dropped by a first-round right hand in a shutout victory (120-107 three times) for Thurman who ended an eight-month ring absence and was recovering from an injured left shoulder.

“Bundu was a switch-hitting awkward fighter. I switched [to southpaw] on him in the first round and dropped him with a right hand,” said Thurman. “I out boxed him and really gave the world a taste of how good of a boxer I am. It was an easy blowout.”

UD 12 Robert Guerrero, March 7, 2015, the MGM Grand Grand Garden Arena: Thurman entered this bout after having been elevated to the full champion before facing Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs), a two-division title winner. He overcame a grotesque hematoma above his left eye from an accidental clash of heads, dropped “The Ghost” in the ninth-round, and lost a combined four rounds in PBC’s first ever main event.

“Guerrero had fought Floyd Mayweather and I was happy to have a common opponent with Floyd, so that I could prove to the world that I deserved a shot at Mayweather,” said Thurman. “I had to overcome that adversity of having that hematoma by knocking him down in the ninth round. That fight really raised my stock to another level.”


RTD 7 Luis Collazo, July 11, 2015, USF Sundome, Tampa: Thurman overcame a crippling left hand to the liver in the fifth round to become only the man to stop Collazo, a former champion who had gone the distance in losses to Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Andre Berto and Amir Khan. In a homecoming fight, Thurman opened a deep gash over Collazo’s right eye with his own left hook, eventually resulting in the southpaw’s retiring on his stool after the seventh round.

“I was able to survive that body shot to perform in the next round. The fight was taking its toll on him though. I was becoming more comfortable and accurate as I physically broke him down,” said Thurman. “The arena was electric, and the love was amazing. It was a great homecoming to defend my world title near where I grew up in Clearwater, Florida.”


UD 12 Shawn Porter, June 25, 2016, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York: Thurman overcame a bullish former champion in Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) before an electric crowd, winning a give-and-take, blood-and-guts brawl by scores of 115-113, on all three judges’ cards. Highlights were Thurman’s clean right hand-left hook combination that buckled Porter’s knees late in the third round, a 10th-round left hook that did the same, and an even more vicious head-swiveling hook in Round 11 of a Fight of The Year standout from 2016.

“Our fight was tough, back and forth, but by no means was Shawn Porter going to take my title,” said Thurman. “I pushed myself over the final rounds to make sure I’d be victorious in what was one of the ‘Fight of The Year’ contenders that year. That fight proved to everyone that I can win any type of fight, against any type of fighter.”


SD 12 Danny Garcia, March 4, 2017, Barclays Center: Thurman won a clash of 28-year-olds over the then unbeaten Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs), along with the WBC’s crown in just the 10th title unification in division history and only the third between a pair of unbeaten fighters. The crowd of 16,533 represented the highest attended boxing match at Barclays Center to date. Thurman’s movement disrupted the timing of Garcia, a Philadelphia-based fighter who was a unified champion at 140-pounds.

“This was two undefeated welterweights going toe-to-toe in the prime of their careers. Danny Garcia’s a sharp puncher who won the WBC’s vacant title that Floyd Mayweather gave up for retirement,” said Thurman. “But after beating Shawn Porter, I knew Danny would be an easy fight. This was my first chance to beat an undefeated world champion, and I came out swinging on him in round one to make a statement that his world title was about to be mine.”


MD 12 Josesito Lopez, January 26, 2019, Barclays Center: Thurman ended an injury-hampered 22-month ring absence against Lopez (36-8, 19 KOs), scoring a second-round knockdown with a left hook, being hurt by a right hand in the seventh, and using his mobility and athleticism down the stretch for the victory.

“I was really nervous about making weight after walking around at 182 for the past two years,” said Thurman. “But even though I got hit and hurt in the seventh round, I knew my boxing ability would get me through. It was a relief to make it through that fight feeling strong and healthy and I’ve taken those feelings right into this training camp.”


Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), July 20, 2019, the MGM Grand Garden Arena: The 40-year-old Pacquiao has earned back-to-back victories over former champions by seventh-round TKO over Lucas Matthysse (July 2018) and unanimous decision Adrien Broner (January).

“Does Manny belong in the ring with a fighter in his prime? Is Keith Thurman still Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman after some vulnerability against Josesito Lopez?” said Thurman, rhetorically speaking. “Of course, I’d like to get the knockout or TKO, but either way, you’re going to see a world class performance that has me standing alone on top of a division that has so many great fighters. I’m trying to be that great, devastating champion once again, and come July 20, I will prove that I am.”


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Thursday, June 27, 2019


FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE Premieres on FOX Sunday at 1:00 PM ET Previewing Much-Anticipated Battle

Four-Part PBC FIGHT CAMP, Featuring Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, Debuts Sunday on FOX at 1:30 PM ET


LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports announces a robust programming lineup to promote the highly anticipated FOX Sports Premier Boxing Champions Pay-Per-View headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, including the premiere of FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN on Sunday, June 30 (1:00 PM ET), immediately followed by the premiere of the half-hour PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN (Part 1) at 2:00 PM ET. Rounding out the schedule, the one-hour FOX SPORTS PBC COUNTDOWN: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN premieres on Saturday, July 6 (2:00 PM ET).

“Manny Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman is without a doubt the biggest fight of the year, and FOX Sports will get viewers pumped up for this blockbuster summer showdown with the PBC FACE TO FACE, COUNTDOWN and FIGHT CAMP shows,” said Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President of Content, FOX Sports. “Fans will get an unprecedented look into the lives of Manny and Keith, as they prepare for the biggest fight of their career. Viewers will not only see their training, but will also get an inside look at their lives in training camp.”

In the explosive FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN, the two superstars trade verbal jabs and discuss their motivations and strategies heading into the fight with host Brian Campbell. In the show, Pacquiao says that Thurman’s trash talking won’t affect him: “I’ve been more than two decades in boxing,” says Pacquiao. “I’ve experienced all the hardest fights – when I fought De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Morales, Marquez, Hatton, Margarito, who’s much taller than me. Nobody will intimidate me.”

“I can see it, but that’s because I’m a champion, too,” says Thurman. “It’s just a fight. It’s just a black eye. It’s just another body shot. It’s not the first and it’s not the last. But this will be the first time you’ve experienced my punch, Manny.”

PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN is a four-part series detailing the lives and training regimens of both fighters. Cameras go behind the scenes and inside the lives of both men – following Pacquiao as he arrives in Los Angeles from the Philippines, spending time with fans at his LA home and training alongside the legendary Freddie Roach at Wild Card Gym. Meanwhile on Florida’s Gulf Coast, cameras embed with Keith Thurman, who has embarked on a whole new fitness and strength regimen. With new coaches, Yo Murphy and Kimberly Doehnhart, in addition to his long-time trainer, Dan Birmingham, Keith pushes his body to peak fitness.

PBC FIGHT CAMP series is produced by Five Films, the multi-Emmy Award winning production company founded by Scott Boggins and Craig Jenest that established the popular “athlete-follow” format in sports television. Building the anticipation for the fight, PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN Part 2 continues on FOX on Sunday, July 7 at 4:30 PM ET, with Part 3 airing on FOX on Sunday, July 14 (4:00 PM ET) and Part 4 debuting on FS1 on Thursday, July 18 at 8:30 PM ET.

The one-hour FOX SPORTS PBC COUNTDOWN: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN explores how each fighter got to this fight. Take a look back at Pacquiao’s memorable and historic fights with Floyd Mayweather, Tim Bradley, and Adrien Broner. In addition, re-live Thurman’s battles with Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Josesito Lopez. Both Pacquiao and Thurman, along with their trainers and our panel of experts break down these past performances.

Finally, on Saturday, July 20 (9:00 PM ET), boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Philippine Senator and regular WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) returns to face undefeated Super WBA Welterweight Champion Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) in a powerhouse 147-pound showdown live on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Leading up to the fights, PBC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on the FOX PBC social pages. Follow @PBConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all updates throughout the #PBConFOX fights Saturday.
Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

For more information, visit FOX Sports Press Pass.

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